2008 Audi A3 Wagon Review | Edmunds.com
 

2008 Audi A3 Wagon

 
 

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Audi A3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes
 

Review of the 2008 Audi A3

  • Resist the pricey options list and the 2008 Audi A3 offers good value for entry-level luxury buyers with the bonus practicality of a four-door hatchback body style.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Versatile interior space, enjoyable driving dynamics, availability of F1-style sequential-shift transmission, excellent safety for a small car.

  • Cons

    Rear-seat legroom is tight, 3.2 trim level's lofty price is out of sync with A3's entry-level status.

  • What's New for 2008

    There are no major changes for the 2008 Audi A3. Satellite radio and an auto-dimming mirror are now standard on the 3.2 model, while iPod…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (9 total reviews)


Fast, fun, reliable, and comfortable!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Audi A3 2.0T 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I have owned an Audi A3 for three years, and appreciate it more and more each day I drive it. The turbocharged 2.0T engine is very zippy and the short-throw 6-speed manual transmission makes driving the A3 particularly fun, but what really sets the car apart from its competition is its fantastic handling. The car loves curves and the tires stick to the road like glue. From the moment the car accelerates onto an onramp, the solid feel of Audi's suspension and quiet cabin give the passenger a sense of confidence at highway speeds. Even after three years of daily driving, nothing has broken on my A3 and its been to the shop only for its regularly scheduled and warranty-covered maintenance.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Think it over

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Audi A3 2.0T 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

When I first bought this car I loved it! It is fun to drive, the stick shift is fast and with a few modifications this car can look nice. Good gas mileage, good sound system. I really like everything about this car except. It has given me so many problems. My car is only two years old now with 40,000 miles and currently in the shop again. My battery has gone bad after only two years! Unbelievable! I replaced the starter in the car twice, once at 8,000 miles and another at 20. Don't know how long Audi will cover it but I think there might be a bigger problem causing it. I also replaced the stereo system because of a malfunction and the windshield wiper sensor (hazard with no ww in the rain




I love this car!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Audi A3 2.0T 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

This car is an absolute riot! The A3 is truly an Audi, truly a German automobile. One might be inclined to assume that the bottom-of-the-line Audi is just that, a tepid facsimile of the brand. On the contrary, the A3 possesses all of the presence and character of a complete European luxury machine. I continue to be amazed with the build quality. The driving experience is just phenomenal. The engine note is something that must be experienced; you'd never guess a small five door could sound this wonderful. I could gush unapologetically about the car for far more than 700 characters so I will conclude with this summation: This car is sick!!!



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Gets in its own way

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Audi A3 2.0T 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

This is a great car if you like going to the dealer. Mechanically, it is perfect but the build quality is a disaster. Handles great, fast, average over 30 mpg in a mixed commute. Easy to park in the city. All of the doors have been taken apart for wiring harnesses being out of the clips. The radio was a mess. Seat belt receiver replaced, etc. Now I have 2 mystery rattles, the drivers door handle and an exhaust rattle.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Re-review to bad

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Audi A3 2.0T 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I posted a review after I bought my Audi last August raving about it. I now wish to retract my raves! The ride and fun level are all great...but I am burning thru a quart of oil about every 1000 - 1500 miles! I can't even make it to a regular oil change without the light coming on or me putting oil in it sometimes twice. Terrible! I am dumping this thing before it dies on me. I drive 120 mile a day and can't risk being left on the side of the road, Audi care or not! I am going back to a Honda or Toyota...loved both! Too bad, such a beautiful car.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Problems with audi

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Audi A3 2.0T 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

With only 5,000 miles on my brand new A3, the power window is broken, the power seat for the driver is broken, and now the transmission is giving problems. I will never buy another Audi again. This is the most problamatic car I have ever had, worst than the old Ford Explorer. I am going to ask for a refund.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2008 Audi A3 Review

What's New for 2008

There are no major changes for the 2008 Audi A3. Satellite radio and an auto-dimming mirror are now standard on the 3.2 model, while iPod integration and manual rear sunshades become available on both A3 models.

Introduction

Like George and Weezy, Audi's entry-level A4 has been moving on up ever since its arrival more than 10 years ago. Back in the 1990s, this entry-luxury compact was big on value thanks to its low $20Ks base price, but today a bare-bones A4 hits the register at more than 28 large before even the most basic options are selected. Thankfully, there's a more affordable way to get in on the Audi ownership experience: the 2008 Audi A3 compact hatchback wagon.

Slightly smaller than its pricier sibling, the A3 is now Audi's least expensive car. Although it has been on sale in Europe since 1996, U.S. buyers didn't get a crack at it until the second-generation A3 arrived here for the 2006 model year. This delay has been attributed to Americans' general dislike for hatchbacks and wagons, but with gas prices and environmental awareness rising (not to mention the A4's price), Audi gambled that its versatile luxury hatchback could win a few converts.

As such, the 2008 Audi A3 is a bit of an enigma. In terms of body style and base price, one could cross-shop it against performance hatchbacks and wagons like the Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 or Subaru WRX. At the same time, the A3's Audi badge puts it into consideration with other entry-level luxury cars, and only the Volvo V50 and Saab 9-3 SportCombi come close to being direct competitors.

Therefore, the A3 should be considered an alternative to both segments, but realistically, only those luxury buyers who can live with its highly compact hatchback layout will find it truly appealing. If you're one of those people, and you can steer clear of the A3's pricey options list, the base A3 2.0T is a pretty good bargain considering its lively performance and handling and high-quality interior. The 3.2 Quattro is a different matter, as its additional standard feature content causes it to start 8 grand north of the 2.0T. In that price territory, we can think of a lot of other entry-level cars -- BMW 328i, Infiniti G35 or Audi's own A4 2.0T -- that would be more satisfying to own.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Audi A3 is a four-door hatchback/wagon offered in two trim levels: 2.0T and 3.2 Quattro. The numbers refer to each trim's engine displacement, while Quattro is the name of Audi's all-wheel-drive system.

Standard features on the 2.0T include 17-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, one-touch power windows, a trip computer and a 10-speaker audio system. There are a number of packages and stand-alone options available as well. The "S line" Package provides a sport-tuned suspension, foglamps, sport seats with leather upholstery, aluminum interior trim, unique front and rear fascias and a roof spoiler. The Premium Package also includes some of the S line's items like leather upholstery and foglamps, but adds a 12-way power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rain-sensing wipers and HomeLink.

The 3.2 Quattro includes almost all of the equipment from the S line and Premium Packages as standard. Satellite radio is also included. Options on both trim levels include bi-xenon headlamps, a dual-pane sunroof, a navigation system, a manual rear sunshade, Bluetooth connectivity, iPod integration and a cold weather package that includes heated seats, windshield washer nozzles and exterior mirrors.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive A3 2.0T is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Blessed with a usefully broad power band, it propels this A3 to 60 mph in just 7 seconds. The 2.0T's standard transmission is a six-speed manual, and Audi's S tronic (formerly "DSG") sequential-shift automated gearbox is optional. With its rev-matching downshifts and lightning-quick gearchanges, the DSG is one of the best F1-style gearboxes currently available, and it offers all the convenience of a regular automatic transmission. Fuel economy is pretty good with this engine as well; the 2.0T with S tronic gets 22 city/29 highway mpg for 2008.

The A3 3.2 Quattro features a 3.2-liter 250-hp V6 that comes paired to the S tronic transmission. Although the 3.2 Quattro's standard all-wheel drive will be an asset for those who face slippery driving conditions, the heavier weight of this A3 means not much is gained in performance; the sprint to 60 mph takes 6.8 seconds. The A3 3.2 Quattro gets 18 city/25 highway mpg for 2008.

Safety

A wealth of safety technologies is standard on the A3, including front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, antilock brakes and stability control. Seat-mounted side airbags for rear passengers are optional. In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 2008 Audi A3 earned ratings of "Good" (the highest possible) in both the frontal-offset and side-impact tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Like all Audis, the A3 features a well-crafted cabin with superior build quality and solid materials, though the furnishings aren't quite as nice as those of the more expensive A4. Styling is classically German, with straightforward buttons and controls -- a simplicity some may find preferable to the more complicated, expensive Audis. The excellent steering wheel with its built-in S tronic shift paddles fits the driver's hands perfectly, as does the leather-topped shift knob. The interior's total volume is actually equal to that of the first-generation Audi A4 wagon, and with a maximum cargo capacity of 56 cubic feet, is just 3 cubes shy of the current A4 Avant. Still, most will find the backseat short on legroom.

Driving Impressions

Whether you choose the 2.0T or 3.2 Quattro, brisk performance is at hand for passing and merging maneuvers. When the curves come up, the 2008 Audi A3's electromechanical steering does a superb job of quelling vibrations and kickback without marring feedback. In typical Audi fashion, the ride is comfortably firm and the A3's handling is just as sporty as its larger siblings'. The junior Audi's well-tuned suspension keeps the car buttoned down in the turns, even as midcorner pavement imperfections try to knock it off line.

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